Foreign Service Officers

Foreign service officers represent the government and the people of the United States by conducting relations with foreign countries and international organizations. They promote and protect the United States' political, economic, and commercial interests overseas. They observe and analyze conditions and developments in foreign countries and report to the State Department and other agencies. Foreign Service officers guard the welfare of Americans abroad and help foreign nationals traveling to the United States. There are about 12,000 Foreign Service employees at more than 270 U.S. embassies and consulates and in Washington, D.C.

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Quick Facts
Alternate Title(s) Commercial Officers, Consular Officers, Cultural Officers, Economic Officers, Information Officers, Management Officers, Personnel Officers, Political Officers, Public Diplomacy Officers
Duties Represent the government and the people of the United States by conducting relations with foreign countries and international organizations
Salary Range $25,000 to $100,000+
Work Environment Primarily Indoors
Best Geographical Location(s) Opportunities are available throughout the world
Minimum Education Level
  • Bachelor's Degree
  • Master's Degree
School Subjects
  • Foreign Language
  • Government
  • History
Experience Experience in foreign affairs (in government positions, teaching, or volunteering overseas) highly recommended
Personality Traits
  • Conventional
  • Enterprising
  • Social
Skills
  • Foreign Language
  • Interpersonal
  • Leadership
Certification or Licensing None
Special Requirements Applicants must be U.S. citizens between the ages of 21 and 59
Employment Prospects Fair
Advancement Prospects Fair
Outlook Little Change or More Slowly than the Average
Career Ladder
  • Senior Foreign Service Officer
  • Foreign Service Officer
  • Junior Officer

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